The Mayoral Standings Become Clearer, Thanks to Three Polls
John Connolly, Marty Walsh, Dan Conley, and Charlotte Golar Richie are fighting for the two final spots.
Three polls released in three days, with strikingly similar results, suggest that we have a pretty good snapshot of where the Boston mayoral race stands—or, rather, stood roughly 10 days before next Tuesday’s election.
Below I’ve put the results of the three polls—Suffolk/Herald, UNH/Globe, and WBUR/MassINC—and the rounded average of the three.
As you can see, John Connolly has a significant lead. Combined with his financial resources and strong field organization, Connolly would seem to be in very strong shape to get one of the top two spots.
Behind Connolly are Marty Walsh, Charlotte Golar Richie, and Dan Conley all bunched together. Those four are clearly emerging as the top tier in the race for the two final spots on the November ballot.
Conley has plenty of ad money, but so far it hasn’t seemed to get him anywhere. Perhaps that will change in his final, substantial, ad blitz, but I am a little skeptical. No question he’s in the mix, but his path seems a little tougher than the others in the top tier.
Marty Walsh should be in stronger shape. He is just now launching his ad blitz, and has a very strong field organization. But Walsh’s lack of forward movement has to be concerning to his camp. Despite emerging early on as the co-frontrunner with Connolly, Walsh has absolutely stagnated, even as undecideds have slowly moved off the fence. Walsh had 11 percent in the July Suffolk/Herald poll, and 11 percent in the August Sage Systems poll; he has 11 percent in the average of the three new polls. That, and Walsh’s reach outside of Dorchester and union households suggests that he’s got to rely on Get Out The Vote rather than persuasion—although, again, he’s just now trying wide-scale persuasion via TV ads, so we’ll see.
Richie, alone among the top tier candidates, has no money for ads to help in the final stretch. But she has the demographics. If undecided black and women voters break disproportionately to her, as you might expect, she should have an advantage over Conley and Walsh, or at least a counter to their advertising edge. Of course, that’s a big if.
Assuming these polls are fairly accurate snapshots of the electorate—which they might not be, of course—it’s a little hard to see anyone else surging enough to reach the top two. I surely don’t want to count anyone out: Felix Arroyo and Rob Consalvo both have good field organizations, and Barros, Ross, and Walczak all have some reasons to feel momentum on their side. But they’ve got some real distance to top two, and not much time.